Top Skills For Virtual Assistants To Know

Top Skills For Virtual Assistants To Know

The Top Skills For Virtual Assistants

What You Need To Know!

These in-demand skills make it easier to get clients + earn a great living!

Welcome to part two of this three part series of blog posts focusing on the skills you need to be successful as a Virtual Assistant.

If you haven’t read the first post all about Soft Skills you can read it here.

In this blog post I’m going to talk about the top in-demand skills clients are looking for.

The ones they want + need.

What I call “Hard Skills”.

These are the skills that make it easier to market your services, get clients and earn more money.

First… you may be wondering how I know what skills clients want.

Good question.

Well… it’s because online business owners come to me every week asking for referrals for skilled professionals.

These are the skills that I’ll be covering in this post – the top in-demand skills I’m asked for the most.

But, first I want to address a few things I see happening all the time in the VA Industry.

Things that make it more difficult to market your services, get clients + earn great money.

Many people start out by trying to be a “Jack or Jill” of all trades. (Also known as a Generalist).

This is when you offer everything but the kitchen sink to your clients.

It sounds good in theory… you know the more I offer the more successful I could be.

But… it’s actually the opposite.

First… it’s not about QUANTITY it’s all about QUALITY.

In fact, the more services you offer the more confusing it can be for your audience.

They’re not quite sure what you do – or what you do well.

If you’re struggling to get clients or market your services, you might want to start by looking at how many services you’re offering.

Is it clear what you “specialize” in by looking at your list of services?

If it’s not clear to you – then I can bet it’s not to your potential clients.

Start by cleaning up your list of services.

Go through them one at a time and ask yourself if you actually enjoy doing it.

If you don’t like it, then don’t do it.

Remove it from your list of services.

That’s the beauty of having your own business – you only have to offer what you truly enjoy doing and nothing else.

When you shift your focus to specializing in just a few services something happens.

It becomes easier to market your services, for potential clients to understand what you do and to earn more money.

You want to be a Specialist NOT a Generalist.

Plus… specializing makes it easier to scale your business!

If you’re offering ONLY administrative type tasks – it’s going to be harder to get clients + make good money.

Why?

Because the VA Industry is flooded with EA’s, PA’s + AA’s.

Now, don’t get me wrong, having admin skills is a great asset to you.

BUT…. client’s don’t want or need JUST admin skills.

What they want and need is help with the systems + tools that run their online business.

The ones that help them be successful.

You’ll need to move away from offering all admin type skills and move towards the skills that clients need.

The ones that are in demand and can earn you up to twice as much as admin skills (not a guarantee).

So… how do you know what to specialize in?

Well… you can specialize in one of the services that you already offer, or you can learn one of the top in-demand skills clients want.

Here are the skills I’m asked for the MOST:

All things Digital Marketing. It is the hottest set of skills right now in the industry.

  1. WordPress Websites + Management
  2. Project Management
  3. Copywriting
  4. Graphic Design
  5. Systems + Processes
  6. Techie Skills
  7. These are in no particular order except I would say the Digital Marketing is the one most people want + need help with.

I’ve detailed a few more as well broken down what skills are considered Digital Marketing in my FREE Top 10 Skills EBook. You can grab your copy below.

You can use this EBook to help you move from Generalist to Specialist.

If you’re wondering what skills I would recommend – I would say Mail Chimp + WordPress.

In fact, in my opinion I think ALL Virtual Assistants should know them both.

Why?

Well, Mail Chimp is a tool that many new online business owners use for email marketing and it’s an easy tool to learn and use. It is one of the most requested skills I get! If you want to learn more about Offering Mail Chimp as a service in your business, join my FREE VA Training Vault (button below).

And, WordPress is a great skill to have since 95% of your clients (and potential clients) either have a WordPress website or need one. You don’t have to know how to build a website in order to help your clients – you can learn how to manage it for them. If you want to see the many different ways you can offer WordPress as a service, sign up for my free webinar at https://www.offerwpservices.com/webinar-registration

In order to be successful as a Virtual Assistant you need to have the skills that clients want + need.

If you don’t, you’ll struggle with getting clients and earning money.

It’s all about supply + demand.

What do you think?

I’d love to hear from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

Watch for the next blog post in this series all about offering your skills as a professional.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Why You Should Offer Audit Packages In Your Business
  2. Why You Need To Have Referral Partners
  3. How To Create Your Virtual Assistant Packages
  4. How To Set Your Rates

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. It’s over 8 hours of how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

 

What Skills Are Needed To Be A Virtual Assistant

What Skills Are Needed To Be A Virtual Assistant

What Skills Are Needed To Be a Virtual Assistant

Do You Know Which Ones You Need To Be Successful?

I see this question asked on social media all the time.

So… I thought it would make for a great series of blog posts.

There are going to be 3 blog posts in the series, each one with a specific topic on skills needed to be successful as a Virtual Assistant.

This first blog post focuses on what I call the “soft skills“.

What are “soft skills” you ask?

Well.. they’re the skills you need to master when working in a service based business.

Because remember, the VA Industy is a service based industry, where we work one on one with clients.

It’s all about building + maintaining strong relationships with our clients.

They are NOT “hard skills”.

Hard skills are expertise based skills such as:

  • WordPress
  • Transcription
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Copywriting

Don’t get me wrong hard skills are a MUST but so are soft skills and they seem to be overlooked.

These are the skills you need to master to be a service professional.

You can have the “hard skills” but if you don’t have the soft skills too – it’s hard to keep clients!

(Hard skills will be covered in the next two blogs in this series.)

So… let’s dive into the top 5 soft skills you need to embrace + master.

The Top 5 Soft Skills are:

  1. Communication
  2. Teamwork
  3. Problem Solving
  4. Flexibility
  5. Time Management

Let’s break them down one a time, starting with Communication.

Communication 

This is the most important soft skill to master.

If you can’t communicate effectively it’s hard to meet your clients deadlines + expectations.

Especially since we’re virtual.

It’s important to ask questions so you fully understand what you’re doing for clients.

If you don’t understand ASK.

There are NO stupid questions, except the ones you don’t ask.

Don’t worry about looking silly for asking questions – it means you’re listening and trying to gain an understanding.

Since we’re virtual we communicate in different ways.

Know what the best method of communication is for YOU.

Let your clients know.

Remember.. communicating clearly involves listening and speaking, be sure you’re doing both.

And… always be honest if you made a mistake.

We all make them, the worst thing you can do is try to cover it up instead of own up to it.

Teamwork

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to know how to work well with others.

Realize that you might need a combination of soft skills to be effective at teamwork, especially if you don’t have any experience being part of a team.

It’s important to listen to others, and inspire your clients + team to work together for best results.

It also means you need to do your own part. Recognizing your part in the team, and acknowledging others’ contributions is important.

You are part of your client’s team even if it’s just the two of you.

Problem Solving

You need to be okay when it comes to dealing with unexpected issues or problems – it’s going to happen.

You can’t freak out – well you can but don’t let your client know <grin>.

Problems + issues are just part of life and business.

The best thing is to know they’re going to happen from time to time and if possible have a plan B.

Technology is a blessing and a curse… sometimes things blow up or don’t work as expected.

It’s just part of having an online business.

You need to be ready to solve any problems that come your way.

This requires creativity and good analytical skills.

When it comes to problem solving, you should be able to analyze the situation and look at it from different angles. Plus, it’s important to find different, sometimes out-of-the-box solutions to problems. This is where you can reach out to team members or even your client to help find the best solutions.

This is one of the best soft skills you can have if you’re looking to be more than just an assistant.

Flexibility

Are you able to change direction + think fast on your feet?

Are you willing to try new things?

Flexibility is a skill that can help you survive as a entrepreneur + Virtual Assistant.

Business changes… technology changes.

Change is part of life – you need to embrace it or at least be willing to bend.

With this skill, you are more likely to be open to learning new things and moving forward.

If one thing doesn’t work (or stops working), you need to be flexible enough to try something else.

Your ability to have an agile mind and thought process can pave the way to success.

Time Management

This is a BIG one.

If you want to be successful you need to know how to manage your time.

Time management is key to being successful in this business.

Why? Because we complete tasks or projects for clients and they want them delivered on time.

Understand which tasks are vital to your business, and which you can do later, or delegate.

Revenue generating tasks are the ones you should spend 80% of your time on – because that’s what pays the bills.

The other 20% should be spent on your own business – the day to day stuff that keeps your business running.

Knowing how to use your time — and developing the discipline to stick to a timetable — can help you make better decisions and maximize the work you do.

I use a combination of tools to be sure I get done what I need to. All of my client tasks go into my Task Management system (Teamwork) and I use a planner to keep track of my daily to-do’s.

This system works for me – find one that works for you!

Soft skills are important to the success of your business.

When you develop them, you have the chance to push yourself to the next level.

They will help you stand out as a professional in the industry.

What do you think? Do you have experience with these soft skills?

I’d love to hear from you.

Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking to improve your soft skills.

All comments + questions are welcome.

Click here for the next blog post in this series all about “hard skills” or in-demand skills.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Virtual Business Operations – Setting Up Your Systems
  2. 5 Must Haves When Starting Your Business

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. It’s over 8 hours of how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

Tips For Starting a Virtual Assistant Business While Employed

Tips For Starting a Virtual Assistant Business While Employed

tips for starting your VA biz while employed

Many people start their Virtual Assistant business while working either full or part-time.

I know, I was one of them.

I had a full-time corporate career, plus an infant at home when I started my Virtual Assistant business over 10 years ago.

I remember what a struggle it was to figure out how to juggle it all and stay sane!

If you’re like me and you’re working on starting or building your VA business while you’re still employed, I want to share a few of the tips that really helped me.

I’m including a free sample work schedule + transition checklist for you to download to help you plan your exit from your JOB. You’ll find the download at the end of this post.

Ok… let’s dive into the tips!

#1 – Schedule Everything!

You only have so much time each day to fit in everything you need to do. Use a planner or online calendar and schedule out your days in detail. When it comes to doing your VA work, schedule it around your job and family commitments. Be sure to include downtime for yourself, otherwise, you will burn out.

For example, set aside 4 hours per day Monday – Friday to work on your business. Get up two hours early in the morning and then work two hours in the evening. Then work 4 – 6 hours on Saturday and take Sunday off.

This was the schedule I followed to help me launch my business.

If you have a lunch hour, you can use that time to work on your business too. Just don’t do it at work.

Find a schedule that works for you and stick to it. It takes commitment to build a business especially when you’re working in a JOB.

I used the hatred of my soul-sucking job to help me stay focused!

What can you use to help you stay focused? Find out what it is and use it to fuel your fire.

#2 – Talk Deadlines NOT Schedules. 

Remember, as a Virtual Assistant you get to dictate when you work. If a client asks when you’re available, remind them that it doesn’t matter when you get the work done. What matters is meeting your deadlines.

I would tell clients that my schedule depends on my family so, it changes. Then I asked them when they needed the task completed.

Now realize I didn’t offer the types of services that kept me in front of the computer during “business hours”. The work I did for clients could be done on my schedule when I wanted. The key was to deliver on time.

Always focus on your deadlines NOT when you do the work. It’s not a JOB.

#3 – Work Around Your Commitments. 

Your job is important as it’s still paying the bills so, be sure to do your client work when you’re not working.

Go out for lunch and work at a local cafe or restaurant.

Get up an hour earlier in the morning and do client work or work late into the evening.

Remember, you set your own work hours and the most important thing is to meet the promised deadlines to your clients.

Keep in mind if you’re using free wi-fi, you’ll need to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to secure your connection and your data. Don’t take the chance of information falling into the wrong hands!

I recommend using Tunnel Bear VPN. It’s easy to use – just install and activate.

I use it every time I’m not in my own office.

They have a free version so you can try it out.

#4 – Have a Support System.

It’s so important to have people around you that understand what you’re going through. Who better than other Virtual Assistants? We’re a tight-knit family, here to support you on your VA journey.

Join my Facebook community – VA Tips, Tricks + Advice to connect with other Virtual Assistants both new and experienced.

It’s a safe space to ask questions, vent, get support and help each other succeed.

#5 – Have an Exit Strategy.

You need to have a plan in place before you’re ready to leave your job behind.

You need to plan your exit!

It’s so important to step back and think about how your life will change when you’re no longer employed.

You don’t want to quit your JOB before you’re ready.

Take time to plan.

Things like how much do you need to earn before you can quit?

Or, what expenses will be cut or alleviated when I’m no longer working for someone else?

What new expenses will I have?

Having a strategy or plan is a MUST for being successful.

#6 – Know Your Why.

What’s your why?

Your WHY is the reason WHY you want to start your own Virtual Assistant business.

My why is, I wanted my FREEDOM + I wanted more FLEXIBILITY in my life.

They are the driving force behind everything I do, even now.

It’s important for you to know what drives you – your WHY.

You need something to keep you going when the times get tough because they will.

And, when they do… you need to focus on your WHY.

I use a Vision Board to help remind me what I’m working for when the going gets tough.

Put your why where you can see it every day.

It’s hard work to start a business – remember it takes time + commitment.

Lean on your WHY when the going gets tough for you.

Reach out to your Support System for a boost when you’re feeling low.

You’re not alone!

It’s possible to build a thriving Virtual Assistant business while you’re still working, I’m living proof.

It takes commitment and persistence but, in the end, all the hard work is SO worth it.

You’ll have your freedom and the flexibility to work when you want from where you want.

I hope you found these tips helpful. They really did make a difference in helping me meet my deadlines and keeping my sanity.

If you want a sample of the schedule that I used when I was working + an exit strategy + transition checklist, click below to download them all for free.

va-transition-blog

What are you going to work on first?

Feel free to post a comment below and share! I’d love to hear from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. It’s over 8 hours of how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

What To Watch Out For When Starting a Virtual Assistant Business

What To Watch Out For When Starting a Virtual Assistant Business

What to watch out for if you’re starting a virtual assistant business.

What I call Bad Advice!

Seems like I’ve been on my soapbox a lot lately… and I guess I have because I’ve seen such a change in the VA Industry in the last year.

I’ve seen so many pieces of what I call “bad advice” given to new Virtual Assistants; I wanted to write a blog post that covers them all!

It’s the good, bad + ugly things you need to watch out for when you’re starting your VA business.

Oh… some of this stuff is actually taught by so-called experts in their training + coaching programs and used in their marketing.

This will be one of those posts that grows – as I find more bad advice I’ll be sure to add it to the list.

So… let’s dive in.

#1 The Fake It Until You Make It Strategy – I wrote an entire blog post on this one but I’m going to summarize it here. (You can read the full post here).

I understand taking an opportunity to learn something new but you need to be honest with your clients. Let them know you’re willing to learn – don’t fake it.

Faking means you’re not really sure what you’re doing. Like saying you know Infusionsoft but you’ve never seen it before.

Lack of confidence means you have the skills and know what you’re doing, you’ve just not done it enough to be confident yet. For example, you’ve taken classes to learn WordPress but you’ve not offered it as a service yet. Do you really want to fake it with your clients? You’re working in their business – their baby.

They trust you can do what you say. Remember, it’s your business and reputation on the line.

#2 Work For Free – Why would you work for free? Your knowledge, skills + expertise are valuable and you should be paid for them. When you work for free you’re not valuing the work you do or yourself. Not to mention, people who want things for free can turn out to be nightmare clients.

I see lots of people saying work for free for a testimonial, but you’re still giving away your time + knowledge. And… they’re worth something, right? Yes, they are!

Instead of working for free, offer a discounted rate and then ask them for a testimonial after you’ve completed the work. They get a break on the rate and you get paid for your time, expertise and knowledge.

#3 It’s Easy Anyone Can Do It (Be a Virtual Assistant). Nope, not true. It’s not easy and not everyone is cut out to be a VA. Take the time to really understand what it takes to be successful.

Learn all you can about the day in the life of a Virtual Assistant so you can make the right decision for you. Just know that it’s a lot of work when starting out but it’s worth it for the freedom and flexibility you get.

Remember… it’s a Business NOT a JOB. 

It’s a tremendous amount of work to set up a business and learn all you need to know about being a business owner + a Virtual Assistant. If it’s not for you – that’s OK. Just realize it’s not easy.

#4 You Can Make $5k In Your First 30 Days. No one can guarantee how much you’ll make in any timeframe… period.

There are so many factors that go into being successful as a VA. Is it possible? Sure but it’s the exception NOT the rule.

Don’t fall for this marketing ploy.

#5 Get a VA Certification. I wrote a blog post on this one too! I’ll summarize it here but if you want to read the whole thing click here.

There are no true “Virtual Assistant Certifications”. There is no Industry wide approved certification.

Now, I know there are a few organizations that offer certifications, just be aware of what they mean by certified.

Ask questions like “What do you need to do to obtain the certification and what do you get from it?“

There’s a big difference between completion and certification.

Bottom line is you don’t need to be certified to be a successful Virtual Assistant and be sure you understand what you’re getting for your investment of both time and money.

#6 Get Your First Client Then Figure Out What To Do Next. Not a good way to start a successful business. A business is a system. You need to set up your business systems BEFORE you work with clients.

I’ve seen people who followed this advice and ended up posting for help on what to do next in a Facebook Group and guess what? The client that just hired them was in the group and saw the post. Not a good way to start a relationship.

If you’re looking to build a successful business and give your clients a first-class experience, do yourself and them a favor, don’t follow this bad piece of advice.

Take the time to have your business set up before you land your first client.

#7 How To Start Your VA Business With NO Money. You can definitely bootstrap starting a VA business BUT you will need some money. You have to register your business and the fees vary based on where you live.

Just realize that there is an investment in starting any business – it’s not free.

#8 How To Start a VA Business With NO Experience. You don’t need experience as a VA to start a VA business. But… you need to have experience working with clients. If you don’t, it will be a much harder journey.

Whew… ok that’s it for now. I hope you found these of value.

As I find more, I’ll be sure to add them to the list.

If you’ve got one to share, please do!

I’d love to hear from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

Be sure to use the share buttons to share this post with anyone who might benefit from this information.

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. It’s over 8 hours of how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

Interviewing Potential Clients: Why You Need A System

Interviewing Potential Clients: Why You Need A System

Interviewing Potential Clients: Why You Need A System

What’s your system for interviewing potential clients and then closing the deal?

Do you have one?

It’s SO important to have your systems in place BEFORE you start working with clients.  A system that includes interviewing potential clients and closing the sale.

You see, it’s not enough to interview clients to find out if they’re a good fit, you need to know what kind of information you should ask plus how to overcome common sales objections to close the deal.

So… What kind of system do you need?

One that gets results, is simple and is rinse + repeat.

I call my system of interviewing potential clients “Discovery Sessions”.

I’m discovering what the client is all about and how I can help them. I’m also discovering if it’s a good fit for both of us. Because I’m not just selling a service, I’m starting a relationship with this person and it needs to be right for all involved.

Have you ever taken on a client that you know you shouldn’t have?

Maybe you saw the signs that they were not a good fit for you but chose to ignore it.

Yes, I have! I’m raising my hand here!

I did it a few times before I learned to trust myself and say NO to potential clients that weren’t a good fit.

Being the right fit for you and them is the most important thing no matter how long the relationship.

There are a few so-called “red-flags” that you should watch out for.

When it comes to red flags everyone is different (you’re likely to have your own list, I do). But there are a few common ones I recommend you watch out for.

  1. Too many Virtual Assistants in a short period of time. For instance, they’ve been through several Virtual Assistants in the last few months. This is usually an indication that the person may not be easiest to work with.
  2. They’re negotiators… They want to negotiate everything. You’re rate, the deadline, your boundaries, how you run your own business, etc. These can be the type of people that question everything and can be a drain on your energy.

Like me, you probably have your own list of Red Flags.

If you don’t, I suggest you create one that you can refer to when you’re interviewing clients. You’re looking for traits that you know you don’t work well with.

My main red flags are:

  • micro-managers
  • firefighters (everything is always an emergency and on fire)
  • negotiators

If during the interview you find out they have something on your Red Flag list, then you know it’s a “no”. Trust yourself – you know what’s best for you.

Ok, now let’s discuss the “standard” questions you should ask during the interview.

For me it’s simple, I just ask a couple of simple questions to get the conversation started and then let it flow.

These are the questions I always ask:

  1. Have you worked with a VA before?
  2. How can I help you?

That’s it.

The questions I ask after these depend on the conversation.

It’s what works best for me.

Everyone is different and has specific needs, so I just let the conversation go where it needs to go. I don’t follow a specific script or questionnaire.

Why these specific questions?

Well, for one I want to know if they’ve worked with a Virtual Assistant for two reasons.

One, if they have, I want to know how it went. Have they been burned by a VA before? If they have, I know there is a potential for trust issues right up front and I know how to deal with it.

Two, I want to know what problems they have that I can solve for them. That is why they reached out to me.

I’m all about simplicity and it works for me.

Remember, my motto is Your Business – Your Choice. Do what works for you.

If you like more structure or want a list of questions to help you get started, feel free to download my sample questionnaire to give you some ideas of what to ask.

Your Discovery Session system can be simple and tailored to fit your exact needs.

It doesn’t need to be difficult or complex.

It just needs to work!

Ok… one last thing. That one thing most people dread about interviewing potential clients.

It’s that part of the conversation where you have to start the “close“.

You know, where you have to start talking about your rates and how you work with clients.

The sales conversation!

For so many people they dread having to talk about their rates… it can make them nervous or sick to their stomach (that was me).

But… in order to close the deal, you have to talk about your rates.

You have to understand that you are the sales + marketing department.

It’s up to you to get more comfortable with talking about what you charge because you’re worth it.

Remember, they came to you for help and they know you’re a business owner and you don’t work for FREE!

Go into each sales conversation confident that you can help them and you are worth whatever you are charging.

Here’s a little mindset tip to help you if you’re nervous about quoting your rates.

Double your current rate and then recite it to yourself in the mirror for 7 days.

It really works!

For example, let’s say your current hourly rate is $25 an hour. So double it and then stand in front of the mirror and say “My hourly rate is $50 an hour”.

If you sell packages then do the same thing – double it and recite it to yourself in the mirror.

You may think I’m nuts but it works.

Next time you’re having that sales conversation and it’s time to talk rates, it will be easier!

Are you ready to create your own Discovery Session System?

Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking today to create your own system for interviewing clients.

I’d love to hear from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Setting Your Rates
  2. Virtual Assistant Systems

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. It’s over 8 hours of how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

Virtual Assistant Training + Coaching What You Need To Watch Out For

Virtual Assistant Training + Coaching What You Need To Watch Out For

 

What You Need To Watch Out For When It Comes to Virtual Assistant Training + Coaching

Don’t be afraid to ask questions – it’s your time + money that you’re investing.

This isn’t my standard blog post, it’s more of a rant.

Thought I’d warn you now <grin>.

Seems that everyone is now either a Virtual Assistant Coach or Trainer. I think it’s great that the industry is growing BUT, do these new Coaches + Trainers have the experience to really teach others how to be successful?

There are so many newbies jumping on the Virtual Assistant Coaching + Training bandwagon when many of them haven’t been in business long enough to be considered successful. I’m sorry but you’re not qualified to be a coach or trainer if you’ve not run a successful VA business for at least 3 years (the bare minimum in my opinion).

According to the Small Business Association (SBA) and many others, 80% of all small businesses fail in the first year alone. After the first year, the number falls but only about 50% of businesses make it to five years.

Those are some pretty sobering statistics huh?

Here’s the thing, how can someone who has been in business less than a year really understand what it takes to run a successful business?

They’ve not been in business long enough to know!

Not only that, they’re teaching people stuff that is just plain wrong.

Like a contract is not necessary – WRONG. They are very necessary; in fact, don’t work without a signed contract. It’s protection for both you and your clients.

I’ve seen things like:

  1. You don’t really need any experience… except know how to use the Internet. You’ll have a hard time finding clients if you don’t have the skills they want.
  2. People guaranteeing that you’ll make 5k or 10k a month if you buy their coaching or training. Sorry folks, no one can guarantee how much anyone else will make. It’s just a marketing ploy.
  3. If you read or hear something saying that it’s easy to be a Virtual Assistant, that you can make thousands of dollars only working 4 hours a day… it’s hogwash.

You have to put in the time and effort especially when you’re just starting out.

On a side note – it’s definitely possible to make 10k a month but there is a whole lot more to it than just being a Virtual Assistant.

I’m passionate about this industry and I’m seeing more and more people who are new to the industry get taken advantage of by slick marketing.

Some of these newbies are teaching crappy methods, and it brings down the entire VA industry.

I know when I first started I didn’t know what to ask or to look for when thinking about investing in training and/or coaching.

And… I ended up buying a LOT of crap.

You don’t know what you don’t know.

Please, I ask you to do your homework when it comes to hiring a coach or buying a course.

Find out:

  • If the person really is/was successful.
  • If they’ve been in business for more than a couple of years.
  • If they have a refund policy.

Ask for testimonials, ask for proof of success – it’s important since you’re trusting this person with your potential livelihood + business + your hard earned $$.

The VA Industry is NOT standardized which means there is no certification for trainers or coaches like in other industries.

Here are a few more tips that you might find helpful:

  1. You can use a program like WhoIs.Net to see how long they’ve owned their domain name. It can give you an idea of how long they’ve been in business. For example, if you go to this website and type in thetechiementor.com you’ll see when I first registered this domain back in 2011. (I would still ask this question directly to the coach or trainer – they could have re-branded and changed their business name).
  2. Award Winning Virtual Assistant or Best VA Trainer, what does that even mean? Who voted for them? How many people voted? Is it even a real award?
  3. If you’re in the UK, check to see if they’re VAT registered (you have to be VAT registered if you earn £85k+). Anyone who isn’t is definitely not earning 6 figures, whatever their marketing says.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions – it’s your time + money that you’re investing.

Oh and one more thing.

Yes, I know… I’m what you would call a VA Coach or Trainer. But I’m starting my 10th year in this industry and ran a successful VA business for 5 years before I started The Techie Mentor. I’m not asking you to buy my stuff or hire me unless we’re a good fit.

Ok… rant over.

What do you think?

I’d love to hear from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Virtual Assistant Certifications + Why You Don’t Need One
  2. The Fake It Until You Make It Strategy
  3. What Is A Virtual Assistant
  4. Tips On Sub-Contracting

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. It’s over 8 hours of how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

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